By using a 27-qubit client-deployed system, IBM has reached a new quantum computing milestone by achieving a quantum volume of 64 which is double the amount its 28-qubit backend Raleigh achieved back in January.
While quantum computers are usually measured by the amount of quantum bits or qubits they have, quantum volume is a measure of quantum capability that goes beyond the number of qubits. Instead quantum volume measures computational ability to indicate the relative complexity of a problem that can be solved by a quantum computer.
To reach a quantum volume of 64, IBM focused on a new set of techniques and improvements which leveraged knowledge of the hardware to optimally run the quantum volume circuits. These hardware-aware methods are also extensible and will improve any quantum circuit run on the company's quantum system.
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IBM will be making these techniques available in upcoming releases and improvements to the IBM Cloud software services and the cross-platform open source SDK Qiskit.
Achieving a quantum advantage
In a blog post, IBM fellow and vice president of IBM Quantum Jay Gambetta provided further insight on the firm's recent milestone on its quantum computing roadmap, saying:
"We are always finding new ways to push the limits of our systems so that we can run larger, more complex quantum circuits and more quickly achieve a Quantum Advantage. IBM's full-stack approach gives an innovative avenue to develop hardware-aware applications, algorithms and circuits, all running on the most extensive and powerful quantum hardware fleet in the industry."
IBM is even making quantum computers available to its partners and over the last four years, IBM Quantum Experience has made a total of 28 quantum computers available with eight systems running a quantum volume of 32.
While the fact that IBM has achieved a quantum volume of 64 is quite impressive, it wasn't the first company to do so as Honeywell achieved the feat back in June after promising at the beginning of this year that it would develop a quantum computer with a quantum volume of 64 within three months.
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After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.